Im almost certain I would have remembered staying at the New York Palace Hotel, but I didnt. Yet I was billed for an unauthorized, cancelled reservation under someone elses name there, which originated with an agent of hotels.com and was charged to my WAMU, Providian VISA account. This is not in dispute.
The New York Palace Hotel referred me to hotel.coms Matt M., whose last name, extension and very email address are fiercely guarded by John at 417-864-3600, deep within what must be a secure, undisclosed location. Told that Matts voicemail is also inviolate, I left a message with John for Matt M. about the situation, carefully choosing words like the potential fraud he was discussing with the New York Palace Hotel just yesterday, my name and phone number.
As the business days flew by, and without hearing anything. I called again and left a recorded message at Johns number which was promptly returned by a Laraine Mobley, email@example.com 417-864-3600x8807, fax 800-864-8811. She was very pleasant and helpful, despite emphasizing her impending departure at one oclock that day for some reason.
The very next morning, I sent her the relevant information. A few hours later, I received one of the most disingenuous responses I could have ever imagined, effectively blaming every other party involved, and in fact damaged, by a fraudulent transaction that indisputably originated from the Expedia/hotels.com/travelnow.com organization alone:
You were billed by the hotel, as we are only the booking agent and do not charge the client.
What part of: The only reason I was billed by the hotel was because of your companys error, did they not comprehend? They have not even bothered to deny it, using language like: Again, I do apologize that are unable to do anything for you. Thats verbatim.
You tell me if that is a purposefully nonsensical sentence or not. It looks to me like a pile of something no one wants to step in. You are able to give me my money back now, so do it. You deal with the hotel. Youre hotels.com, arent you? You caused this whole matter, right? Own it.
This is a clear attempt at a brush-off. The New York Palace Hotel billed me for a fraudulent reservation made through hotels.com, thats the bottom line. The fault does not lie with me, the hotel, the credit card company or the issuing bank, period. The responsible entity needs to undo its error immediately and without further obstructing the process. Suck up the loss or make an insurance claim. Stop wasting everyone elses time and effort. E-commerce is based on reliability and trust, show some.
With all the concern about internet fraud and identity-theft, youd think they would take these matters seriously. I guess matters of trust and repute arent worth a lousy 600 bucks to them. I am glad I found this website. Ill be linking this post up to all of the other relevant parties to this if I dont get a full refund post-haste. Maybe someone with settlement authority and business sense will chime-in, pay up and get rid of this right now. In the alternative, they can provide me the contact information for the general counsel at IAC.